We're a month into the school year now, and the days are turning over nicely, and all the blessings of routine life have me in an experimental mood. My curiosity is at a high enough peak that I'm actually trying new things instead of just thinking about them. They're not huge, life-shaking things. They're just little tweaks. But I like reading about other people's little life hacks, so I thought I'd write about mine.
One thing that I'm trying is using coconut oil on my face, as a moisturizer. Yes, that sounds a bit nuts, and the fear that I would instantly break out in the worst rash of pimples if I even hinted to my skin that I was going to try such an unconventional thing is what kept me just thinking about it for so long. But it's been a few days now, and there's no sign of a breakout.
The two things that made me think about trying it were 1) it's done wonders for my hair and 2) my grandmother. My grandmother has the loveliest skin you'll ever see. She looks at least thirty years younger than she is because of it. And do you know what her skincare routine is? She puts Vaseline on her face every night. No kidding! And I think it probably sealed in the moisture after she washed her face before going to bed every night. I couldn't help but think that coconut oil would do the same thing.
Here's what I'm doing: every night, after washing my face, I dip the tip of my finger in coconut oil and then rub my hands together, and spread a thin layer of it over my face and neck. Then, in the morning, I wash it all off. I figure that I really will break out if I leave it on all day, because the oil will attract dirt. But at night, on a clean pillowcase, I don't see how it can.
The result so far is healthier-looking skin - honestly! I have an olive complexion that tends to leave me looking tired due to shadows under my eyes, and those have lessened, I think, just because the skin is plumped up a bit because it's not so dry. And I think I have fewer (hate even typing the word) zits than before; certainly I don't have more.
So . . . the second thing is housework. The older my youngest two get, the more energy I have. For some strange reason. Heh. So I've been looking at my housekeeping routine and trying to figure out how to tweak it so that we have fewer chores left over till the weekend, and so that things are just generally cleaner. We do a good job around her at keeping vital things clean (like, say, food-prep areas), but things like, oh, the top of the fridge and the baseboards - these are very seldom clean. And, you know, if I have the energy to do it, it's awfully nice to live in a clean home.
So I'm trying this service. I was willing to experiment with it because it was just $2 for the rest of the year (Oct-Dec) and if I like it, I can just subscribe to the whole year in 2011, and buy that instead of a new personal calendar, adding nothing extra to the budget.
So far? So good. I'm using the page-a-day version and taking out things that don't apply to our home, and adding in things that do. For example, I've got 4 young kids, many of whom are not entirely clear on the proper way to use the toilet (i.e., it's not something you look at while your stream of pee goes elsewhere) and so I'm swiping down the toilet and floor right after I wipe out the bathroom sink.
What do I like about it? I like that the very dirty areas are done once a day so that they just always look clean. What a luxury is a clean home! Really. I like that it reminds me to do the little things. I like that the less-frequent chores (like cleaning the fridge) are done a bit at a time. I also like that it's fairly similar to the to-do list I write out every day by hand anyway, and it saves me the writing-out part.
I'm also adding in the weekly zone missions from Flylady. Several years ago I did Flylady, and while I learned a lot (and kept up on a lot of it), it's just too over-the-top for me. Very emotional, those emails. And with the four kids, I get enough emotion thrown at me every day to last me, thank you. But the daily missions are helping me to do some deep-cleaning that was neglected in the Toddler Era, and that's nice.
We're also starting to use this chore system with the older two kids. We've been hemming and hawing on what to do about allowance, and we've finally decided they'll get a small base amount every week, with the option of earning more. I think it strikes a nice balance between you-get-to-partake-in-our-resources-because-you're-part-of-the-family and you-get-to-contribute-your-blood-sweat-and-tears-because-you're-part-of-the-family. The thing I really like about the linked-to system (besides the fact that it's free) is that it lists both expected (unpaid chores) and paid chores, but the paid chores don't get paid unless the expected chores are done first.
The younger two children will be given the chance to earn pennies once I stop worrying about the likelihood of them eating said pennies.
So those are my recent experiments. I'll let you know if any of them crash and burn! But (especially regarding the first) don't expect pictures if they do. ;)
Peace of Christ to you,